- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

No. 21 East Carolina (6-1, 3-0 American Athletic Conference) at Temple (4-3, 2-2); 12 p.m. (ESPNews)

Line: East Carolina by 7 1/2.

Series Record: East Carolina leads 8-3.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

After the first College Football Playoff rankings East Carolina of the American is the best of the rest, No. 23 in the rankings and the only team from the Group of Five conferences (Sun Belt, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and American Athletic Conference) to make the committee’s top 25. East Carolina can’t afford a slip up against a team such as Temple.

KEY MATCHUP:

East Carolina vs. the road. The Pirates are on a roll and could easily take a slumping Temple team lightly. East Carolina is only 51-65 on the road since 1997 and 2-1 this season. They had losing road records from 2009-2012.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

East Carolina: WR Justin Hardy. Hardy had his 12th double-digit catch total (14) and 13th triple-digit yardage outing (186) vs. UConn last week. He has caught at least two passes in every game he’s played, a streak that sits at 43 straight heading into Temple.

Temple: QB P.J. Walker. Coach Matt Rhule said Walker remains the starter even after the QB was benched in a 34-14 loss at Central Florida. Walker threw for only 111 yards and his performance continues to slide with Temple on a two-game losing streak. The Owls are trying to become bowl eligible and need more from Walker.

FACTS & FIGURES:

ECU will try to begin league play 4-0 for the first time since 2010. … East Carolina has yet to allow a point in the fourth quarter during its American Athletic Conference schedule this year, outscoring SMU, USF and UConn by a combined 34-0. … Temple has three punt returns for TDs this season. The entire American Athletic Conference has four total. … The Owls had 17 different players score a TD this season.

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